Monday, April 5, 2010

Roasted, Golden Potato Pizza: Sunshine on a Plate

Today is a gray, rainy Monday -- perfect for baking some sunshine in your kitchen, with a roasted potato pizza.  Lovely Yukon Gold potatoes are sliced into golden discs that are quickly roasted (before the pizza is baked) to give them even more color and flavor, and they make this one of the cheeriest pizzas I've ever seen.  (Though there's really no such thing as a grouchy pizza; it's just not possible.)  

Plus, this pizza is cheese (and dairy) free, so it's practically guilt free, but also delicious and flavorful, with that extra bonus of being nice and comfort-food-y as it's pizza and roasted potatoes in one!  Not to mention that those lovely yellow potatoes are also a good source of Vitamin C and B6, plus iron and protein.  (One approx. 5 ounce potato has 45% of your RDA for vitamin C and 10% for B6, plus 6% of your daily iron, and 4 grams of protein.  Read more health facts here.)  And if you eat a slice or two (or five, let's be honest here) with a nice green salad, you can definitely feast quite health-righteously.  Of course, it's easy; you know me.  Here's the lowdown.


-- 1 package fresh pizza dough from Trader Joe's (or another store-bought brand, or homemade if you're extra ambitious)
-- extra virgin olive oil
-- 2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly (or more if you like a lot of garlic)
-- 4 - 5 Yukon Gold potatoes
-- non-dairy sour cream (both Tofutti and Follow Your Heart brands are non-hydrogenated and dairy-free), approx. 4-5 tbsp. 
-- salt and pepper
-- fresh chives, chopped     

What to do:

Turn on the oven to 450 degrees and take your pizza dough out of the fridge.  (The Trader Joe's dough needs to sit out for 20 minutes so that the gluten relaxes and the dough can be stretched/rolled more easily.  If you're using a different kind of dough, just follow those instructions.)

While the oven heats up and your dough rests quietly on the counter, scrub those potatoes well.  Yep, you're on KP duty, so try and have a little fun with it.  Once you've got clean 'taters, slice them as thinly as you can (no need to peel, hooray!).  If you've got a fancy-pantsy mandoline feel free to use it, but there's not really a need.  Make it easy.  As long as you get these relatively thin, it will work.  (And if you prefer giant hunks of potato on your pizza, you do that.  We won't judge.  Just be sure to pre-roast them a bit longer so they're not raw.)

Once your potatoes are ready, your oven should be pre-heated (or close enough anyway unless you're a speed demon in the kitchen).  Now put those slices in a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, and then toss gently with your (clean) hands.  Pop them into the oven for 8-10 minutes (or until they start to brown around the edges), while you prep the other pizza ingredients.

Slice your garlic cloves as thinly as you can (this recipe will hone your knife skills), and set aside.  Then oil your baking sheet.  Take your fresh dough and either stretch or roll it out.  I like to stretch because I'm lazy and getting out a rolling pin, flour, etc., is a whole other headache and more stuff to wash, let's be honest.  But if you prefer that, you go for it.  To stretch, I like to hold the dough by the edges, and pull gently as you turn it like a steering wheel.  Keep turning and stretching -- gently -- until you've got the dough fairly pizza-shape-like.  Then plop it on the baking sheet and nudge the edges of the dough out a little more if you've got fat edges (unless you like it that way).  Seriously, people, we all know what pizza is, so just make your dough as thin or as thick as you prefer.

Okay, your dough is on the sheet, and ready to be dressed up with yumminess.  (When the potatoes are done, pull them out of the oven and leave them to cool while you prep the pizza.)  Drizzle the dough with olive oil, and smear it around with the back of a spoon or your fingers.  Place the sliced garlic around the dough.  Take 2 tablespoons of the non-dairy sour cream and spread those over the olive oil and garlic.  By now, I'm hoping your potato slices will be cool enough to handle, but if not, just use a fork, and place the slices on the pizza in a design as artistically (or not) as you feel like.  Sprinkle everything with a little more salt and pepper, then pop the pizza into the oven, on the bottom rack so that the crust gets nice and crispy.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until the bottom of the pizza is nice and toasty and brown.  You can then turn on the broiler (and move the pizza underneath it) to finish off the pizza for a minute or two and get it nice and browned on the top.  Pull out your pizza, dab with spoonfuls of more non-dairy sour cream, and sprinkle liberally with your fresh chopped chives.  Admire your cooking artwork and skills, then dive in and enjoy the deliciousness.


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